The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Close approach of the Moon, Saturn and Neptune

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon, Saturn and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within 3°22' of each other. The Moon will be 21 days old.

From Fairfield, the trio will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 23:27 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 47° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:12.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.3; Saturn will be at mag 0.7; and Neptune will be at mag 7.9. The trio will lie in the constellation Pisces.

They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

At around the same time, the trio will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Saturn around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the trio at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 00h02m50s +01°28' Pisces -12.3 31'57"4
Saturn 00h09m20s -01°29' Pisces 0.7 18"1
Neptune 00h08m40s -00°31' Pisces 7.9 2"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The trio will be at an angular separation of 112° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.

The sky on 16 July 2025
Sunrise
05:32
Sunset
20:24
Twilight ends
22:28
Twilight begins
03:32

21-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

63%

21 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:31 14:23 21:15
Venus 02:47 10:05 17:23
Moon 23:31 05:25 11:51
Mars 10:02 16:26 22:50
Jupiter 04:20 11:51 19:22
Saturn 23:27 05:24 11:22
All times shown in EDT.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

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17 Oct 2027  –  Saturn at opposition

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

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